Frequently Asked Questions
Sigma Gamma Epsilon
Dept. of Earth Science
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0335
Paula Even 319-505-3391
Any person in any branch of the Earth Sciences who has completed at least 10 semester hours or 15 quarter hours in Earth Science courses and has maintained a minimum 3.0 G.P.A. (on a 4.0 system) in all Earth Science courses together with an overall G.P.A. of 2.67 in all college courses is qualified for membership. Graduate students in an earth science related field are automatically eligible for membership (entrance into graduate school satisfies the GPA and hour requirements). If you qualify and wish to join, you need only inform any officer or the Advisor of your department’s chapter and they can propose you for membership. Initiation of new members is typically held both fall and spring semesters.
Membership in Sigma Gamma Epsilon or a listing of it on a resume (or the wearing of a member's pin) tells a prospective employer or a colleague that you are at least a "B" average student and that in the eyes of your peers you are professionally motivated. Members serve their departments in a number of ways such as organizing field trips, tutoring, arranging displays, etc. Many chapters have money-raising activities to obtain funds to use for scholarships or awards or to purchase items needed for student use or to assist the department in other ways. Members of Sigma Gamma Epsilon are encouraged to submit articles to the Society’s professional journal, The Compass, as it provides the opportunity to share your research with the society. The Compass contains student papers and articles by practicing earth scientists in addition to news and notes about the Society. As an associated society of the Geological Society of America, Sigma Gamma Epsilon members are entitled to GSA-member rates for registration at national and regional meetings and for purchase of GSA publications.
A list of Chapters can be found here. If you have questions about whether your Chapter is active, you can contact the national office at email@example.com. Information on establishing a new Chapter can be found at Steps in Establishing a New Chapter. Information on reactivating a Chapter is provided below.
Establishing a Chapter at your school is a four-step process that typically can be completed within one academic year. The exact timeline depends on faculty and student schedules within the petitioning department and the availability of the National Officers. See the SGE document Steps in Establishing a New Chapter for details. The National Office will gladly furnish information and give assistance in reactivating an inactive chapter or chartering a new chapter. Address all inquiries to: Dr. James C. Walters National Secretary-Treasurer Sigma Gamma Epsilon Department of Earth Science University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0335 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
All you have to do to become active again is to select an advisor, initiate new members, elect officers, and send payment of initiation fee ($25/person), plus annual dues ($15) for a total of $40 for each new member to the national office. Sometimes it is helpful and does expedite the process, to elect officers prior to the initiation ceremony. See the SGE Quick Information Sheet for information on membership requirements, dues, fees, and other helpful information.
Duties of the officers is found in the SGE Constitution and Bylaws, Article III. Government of Chapters.
Associate membership may be granted by any Chapter to any person on the faculty of the departments teaching Earth Sciences in that school where the Chapter is located, or to any professional person in a field of the Earth Sciences that the Chapter deems worthy of such recognition. Associate Members pay the same initiation fee ($25) and annual dues ($15) as regular members. Associate Members should be noted as such on the New Initiate form and/or Returning Member form.
Yes, all active members including associate members must pay $15 annual dues.
The National Office requests that one check be submitted to cover initiation fees and dues for all members of the Chapter. Send a Chapter check or money order rather than individual checks. (If your Chapter does not have an account, take the checks to a bank and purchase a money order for the total.) Never send cash through the mail.
Half-year dues of $8 are due for only those members initiated after February 1st This payment is combined with the initiation fee of $25, making a total of $33 for new members initiated after February 1st.
Replacement shingles can be obtained by contacting the National Office. Please contact Paula Even at email@example.com. to request a new shingle or membership card. There is a modest fee for the replacement.
Chapters must submit annually the New Initiates form, Returning Members form, and Chapter Officers form along with appropriate fees and dues by November 1st. The $15 annual dues are for the academic year, not the calendar year.
Active members are those members duly initiated, who have paid current national dues and who have registered for undergraduate or graduate course work at the school where the Chapter is located.
Alumni members are former active members who have graduated from their institution. There are three categories of alumni members: Active alumni Members are those who pay yearly dues to the National Office an amount equal to the annual dues of an active member. They will receive issues of The COMPASS. An inactive alumni member is a former active member who has not paid dues. A Life Member is any member who has paid the National Office the one-time fee of $175. This payment will ensure a lifetime subscription to The Compass.
Small tax-exempt organizations (SGE Chapters) whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less may be required to electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard. If your Chapter receives such a request from the IRS, you should file the form so that you do not loose your tax-exempt status. It only takes a few minutes to file the e-Postcard at https://epostcard.form990.org. The form asks for your Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN), which will be located in the upper right corner of the letter of request. It also asks for your Chapter’s address, SGE website (Chapter's Website, if you have one), and Principal Officer (we suggest your Chapter Advisor be listed as Principal Officer; incidentally, type of name is “person”). A request to file a form 990-N (e-postcard) should come as a letter from the IRS. Please beware of possible scams from other sources asking for this information or offering to file this information for you. Remember all official government websites should end in “.gov”. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact us.
SGE has available several items for sale, including graduation honor cords, pins, decals, and patches. These items can be found here.
A one-time initiation fee of $25.00 is charged. Once you are initiated you are always a member of the Society; however, while you are a student you pay annual National Dues of $15.00, plus any local chapter dues. After leaving school, you may become an Active Alumni Member by a payment of $15.00 per year to the National Office, or a single fee of $175.00 for a lifetime membership.